Tuesday, June 17, 2008

In the Shadow of the Man

Nineteen years ago my world changed. Nineteen years ago my son was born, my father died. "Goodbye, Dad." "Well, hello, Little Guy." Nineteen Father's Days have come and gone since I stopped reaching up and started reaching down, and nothing matters more to me than being a dad, being there for our three children.

I went by the cemetery in Kansas City the other day. I hadn't been there for quite awhile. The big tree near Dad's grave has been removed. It took me a minute to find it. It's been a long time since we laid his body down to rest there. Lots of summers and winters have warmed and chilled that spot.

Yet, the passing of the years leaves much unchanged, undiminished. I remain as always my father's son. I can still glimpse the gleam of his integrity in the expressions of those who knew him well. I can measure his character in the words of those who walked with him and worked with him. I can weigh the influence of his life in the lingering legacy he left behind for his family and the churches he served. My father's shadow still shelters and strengthens my life.

In another nineteen years I will likely be retired and most all of my father's friends and family will probably be gone. Few will remain on this side of death who knew him well, if at all. But one thing is certain. I will always be my father's son, and I will live then as now in the shadow of the man.

5 comments:

samwrites2 said...

Drew,
Having a father who was a preacher must have been really hard - you have to share him with so many others.
What did you learn from him that influenced how you relate to your son?
I'm curious because my own father, as good a provider as he was, was hardly ever there for me to do activities with.
-Sam

Drew Hill said...

Sam- My dad was an old school, hard-working, long hours pastor. He did make the most of his time with us. My mother did a wonderful job of helping us understand the importance of Dad's work, the importance of all of us serving the Lord. None of us grew up feeling cheated or resentful. I think the main reason was Dad's character. His life matched his message, no hypocrisy, nothing fake about Dad.

I try to have a little more balance with my time. I have coached each of my kids and tried to make some memories along the way. I have always tried to be real like Dad, if not as consistent. My kids have given me some grace in my weak moments. Thanks for asking. -Drew

Adam said...

That day must have been full of conflicting emotions. I can't imagine what it would have been like.

Leaving a spiritual legacy to our children is so important, so it's great that you had such a good role-model to pass that legacy on to you.

Drew Hill said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Adam. God's best to your family in the land down under. -Drew

John McCallum said...

Drew, your dad was one of the finest men I've known. And he was a help to me, a young pastor who benefited from his wisdom. And one of the best things about your dad is you.